Bears Take One of Two Against FGCU in Dramatic Fashion
MACON, Ga. - With game two tied 2-2 in the bottom of the seventh of Saturday's Atlantic Sun doubleheader against Florida Gulf Coast, junior Sara Stukes hit a game-winning two-out single to give the Mercer softball team their second conference win of the season.
The Bears(18-14, 2-6 A-Sun) salvaged the split after dropping game one, by riding a courageous effort by senior pitcher Kari Chambers in game two. The senior pitcher threw her team-leading ninth complete game of the year against the Eagles and limited them to just four hits and two runs on the day.
Mercer scored a run in the fourth and a run in the fifth to take a 2-0 advantage going into the game's final frame. Chambers had given up just two hits before FGCU was able to score two runs in the top half of the seventh. Chambers worked out the bases loaded situation in the seventh as freshman McKenzie Woody made a diving catch in center to preserve the tied game.
The game looked destined for extras as FGCU recorded two early outs in the bottom half of the seventh. However, Santana was able to reach on an error by FGCU's shortstop Regan Knapik. Mercer's next batter, junior Tiffany Phillips, laced her team-high fourth single of the day to move Santana into scoring position.
Stukes, who had been just 1-for-6 on the day, took the first pitch she saw to shallow left field and Santana was able to beat the throw to the plate for the win. Chambers finished the game giving up just four hits, one earned run and struck out eight.
In game one, senior pitcher Jenni Holtz started out on fire, striking out five of the first six batters she faced. However, FGCU was able to figure things out at the plate and generated runs in each of the next four innings. Holtz went 4.2 innings, giving up six hits and six runs (3 earned) while striking out nine in total.
The Bears did have seven hits in game one, but left nine baserunners on and had no extra base hits in the game. Freshman McKenzie Woody went 3-for-4 in game one to lead the way for the Bears at the plate.
Mercer will have another chance to improve their A-Sun conference record tomorrow as Stetson heads to Sikes Field for a Sunday doubleheader. First pitch is slated for 2 p.m. The Hatters took one of two against Kennesaw St. on Saturday.
Tomorrow also marks the Bears' annual "Think Pink" game benefitting Bunko for Breast Cancer, a local breast cancer awareness organization. All fans will receive free admission to tomorrow's game and are encouraged to wear pink in support of the cause.